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Product Discovery Stage of Product Development

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Product Discovery Stage of Product Development


Product development is the method of bringing a product concept into the market or adding new features to an already marketable product. This process is crucial to companies as it helps keep customers engaged by providing relevant and worthwhile products. Since product development involves creating a strategy and defining goals, project managers have better control of the quality and costs. The process includes identifying a need in the market, researching end-user needs, imagining the product, designing a roadmap, gathering feedback, and finally launching the product. Here are the steps outlined in further detail:

  1. Discovery/Research & Analysis: a valuable need in the market is identified, research is conducted, and feedback is given to validate the need for the product.
  2. Define: this step includes determining the minimal viable product (MVP).
  3. Design: a mock-up is created and tested by customers or beta users to gain feedback. This is also when a roadmap will be produced.
  4. Implementation: this step ensures everything is working as it should with the product.
  5. Marketing: marketing goals are defined.
  6. Training: materials are created in order to inform users on how to utilize the product.
  7. Launch/Commercialization: this is the final stage where everything comes together so that the product can go to market.

In this article, we’ll be discussing the discovery stage of product development and its importance, for example for mobile app development. The discovery phase is the initial step of the product development process. Depending on the complexity of the project, it can last from days to weeks to months. The project team may vary but typically include the following:

  • The product owner is the person that presented the initial product idea.
  • Project managers help lead and plan meetings with end-users, create a flawless communication process between the team and client, and track the project’s progress.
  • Business analysts examine market trends and help improve the product so that it meets existing needs or standards.
  • Key stakeholders manage the budget and approve ideas.
  • Tech leads work to determine technical probability, present solutions, and give timelines.
  • UI/UX Experts study what the target audience is looking for or their needs in order to create a user-friendly interface.
  • Some projects may also include a solutions architect to strategize solutions and software testers.

The first and possibly most critical step of discovery is researching and gathering information. This allows the project team to examine risks, decrease any possible issues, develop a business plan, define goals, and form scope for the project. Another part of this section entails understanding end-user needs by communicating with customers, stakeholders and investigating what problems the product is trying to solve. Some methods used to gather data are focus groups, customer interviews, surveys, or competitive research. This allows the project team to gain empathy and step into the end-users perspective. It also gives insight into any market gaps that need filling and flaws in the competition. After exploring what the target audience needs and pinpointing the problems the new product or feature is trying to solve by being brought into the market, the project team can ideate solutions using techniques like storyboarding or mapping. Once a resolution has been brainstormed, a prototype is created to showcase the idea and sent out to a select group of customers, end-users, or beta testers. Feedback is then collected from the test audience to be used for validation. Analyzing the observations provides the project team with the opportunity to improve the product and learn even more about what outcomes the end-user is looking for in a product. Testing the product or feature is the last step of the discovery phase. It helps verify its potential, usefulness, and practicality and allows the team to acknowledge any potential risks before the product is deemed worthy to go into development. The discovery process is not linear, and actions may need to repeat to create a viable product. While deliverables vary depending on the project, here are common documents you can expect during the discovery stage:

  • A journey map showing the steps customers take when using the product.
  • A list detailing key features established from user expectations and business needs.
  • A document explaining the features, hierarchy, and infrastructure of the product.
  • A development plan.
  • A visual concept or prototype.
  • A roadmap displaying a timeline of goals and objectives.
  • A risk assessment and mitigation plan.
  • UX/UI concept or examples and wireframe.
  • An estimate for how much the project will cost.

The discovery stage is an essential step in the product development process as it determines whether there is a need in the market for the proposed product or feature, validates its purpose through tests, and identifies potential problems. This maximizes profits by preventing costly expenditures, which may not have been identified without the research done during discovery. The discovery phase also helps align project goals to what end-users want as it involves research and feedback throughout the entire process from the targeted audience. Not implementing a discovery stage could have negative impacts, such as increased costs from not defining goals at the beginning of the process. Another adverse result of skipping discovery is the possibility of developing a product that’s not needed or doesn’t fit the market due to not conducting proper market and audience research. Other consequences could include a never-ending project resulting in a delayed launch and missed deadlines caused by not setting project boundaries or determining the scope.

As discussed, there are many benefits to following the product development process. Having a strategy helps to ensure customers are happy with the end product and business needs are being met. One of the most vital parts of the process is the discovery phase. Ensuring efforts are made within this first stage can help project teams design products confidently and form a trustworthy relationship with customers. Conducting extensive research into end-user needs, using various methods to gain feedback from their targeted audience, identifying competition, and validating that the product is viable are keys to a successful discovery phase. Ultimately, these actions reduce unnecessary costs and lead to a profitable launch and higher customer satisfaction.  



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ActionIQ rebrands and launches CX Hub

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ActionIQ rebrands and launches CX Hub


Enterprise customer data platform ActionIQ has announced the launch of a new product, CX Hub. The company has also rebranded as AIQ. The CX Hub is designed as a set of modules offering self-service access to customer data, allowing users to build audiences and orchestrate experiences at scale.

After eight years of growth as a CDP serving B2C, media and other sectors, the changes represent a “new approach to our product and brand,” said CEO and co-founder Tasso Argyros in a release. The modular framework will ingest data from any source, integrate with any activation channel, and also allow components to be used with a third-party CDP.

The modules. CX Hub is comprised of four solutions:

  • Customer data platform.
  • Audience center.
  • Journey management.
  • Real-time CX.

The Hub is also designed to be accessible to business users with a friendly UI and extensive automation capabilities.


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Why we care. This is a significant development in the CDP space — a space that has been transforming rapidly, with many of the early established CDPs being acquired and ingested by more extensive suites such as digital experience platforms.

ActionIQ, one of the leading B2C CDPs, is now describing itself as “the leading CX solution.” It seems to be future-proofing itself by extending its capabilities across orchestration and execution channels, not by acquiring or building those solutions, but by seeking to provide modular integration between its (or a third-party’s) customer data management tool and orchestration and execution channels.

Sometimes we wonder how many independent, traditional CDPs will be left standing a year from now.

Read next: Deep changes in the CDP space


About The Author

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space.

He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020.

Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.



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Old Navy to drop NFTs in July 4th promo update

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Old Navy to drop NFTs in July 4th promo update


Old Navy will update its yearly Fourth of July promotions by saluting the metaverse with an NFT drop, going live June 29.

In honor of the year they were founded, the retailer will release 1,994 common NFTs, each selling for $0.94. The NFTs will feature the iconic Magic the Dog and t include a promo code for customers to claim an Old Navy t-shirt at Old Navy locations or online.

“This launch is Old Navy’s first activation in web3 or with NFTs,” an Old Navy spokesperson told MarTech. “As a brand rooted in democratization and inclusivity, it was essential that we provide access and education for all with the launch of our first NFT collection. We want all our customers, whether they have experience with web3, to be able to learn and participate in this activation.”

Accessible and user-friendly. Any customer can participate by visiting a page off of Old Navy’s home site, where they’ll find step-by-step instructions.

There will also be an auction for a unique one-of-one NFT. All proceeds for the NFT and shirt sales go to Old Navy’s longtime charitable partner, Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

Additionally, 10% of NFT resales on the secondary market will also go to Boys & Girls Clubs.

Support. This activation is supported by Sweet, who’s played a major role in campaigns for other early NFT adopters like Burger King.

The Old Navy NFTs will be minted on the Tezos blockchain, known for its low carbon footprint.

“This is Old Navy’s first time playing in the web3 space, and we are using the launch of our first NFT collection to test and learn,” said Old Navy’s spokesperson. “We’re excited to enable our customers with a new way to engage with our iconic brand and hero offerings and look forward to exploring additional consumer activations in web3 in the future.”

Read next: 4 key strategies for NFT brand launches

Why we care. Macy’s also announced an NFT promotion timed to their fireworks show. This one will award one of 10,000 NFTs to those who join their Discord server.

Old Navy, in contrast, is keeping customers closer to their owned channels, and not funneling customers to Discord. Old Navy consumers who don’t have an NFT wallet can sign up through Sweet to purchase and bid on NFTs.

While Macy’s has done previous web3 promotions, this is Old Navy’s first. They’ve aligned a charity partner, brand tradition and concern for the environment with a solid first crack at crypto.


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About The Author

Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.



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Are you still using spreadsheets to manage your work? Take our poll

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Are you still using spreadsheets to manage your work? Take our poll


Earlier this year, revenue orchestration platform LeanData released a report suggesting that lead management remains a “heavily manual” process. Based on a survey of more than 1,700 sales, marketing and operations professionals, the results showed that, despite all the talk of digital transformation, the number two challenge for revenue teams was too many manual processes and not enough automation (the number one challenge was insufficient pipeline).

LeanData, which partnered with Sales Hacker, Outreach and Heinz Marketing in conducting the survey, is interested in that result, of course, because lead management is precisely the process they offer to automate. We were struck by the contrast with Scott Brinker’s recent statement that we are arriving at a post-digital-transformation era: “(C)ompanies are no longer planning to become ‘digital.’ They are digital.”

And then we got the results of our 2022 MarTech Career and Salary Survey. Among the surprising nuggets to be mined from our findings was that 77% of respondents identify spreadsheets as the tool they spend most time (10 or more hours a week) working with. That doesn’t mean that spreadsheets are a marketer’s most important tool, but it does suggest that manual processes remain a key part of daily life for marketing managers and staff.

We wanted to extend the opportunity to all our readers — B2B, B2C, agencies — to give us a reality check on spreadsheet use. MarTech is marketing, we like to say, and certainly today’s marketing is fundamentally data-driven and digital. But is it too soon to say that marketers are working in a digital and largely automated environment?

Download the 2022 MarTech Career and Salary Survey here


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About The Author

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space.

He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020.

Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.



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